An ambitious project delivered by Kensa Heat Pumps and Trent & Dove Housing aimed at tackling fuel poverty in 133 rural sheltered housing bungalows in Staffordshire has been awarded ‘Community Heating Project of the Year’ at the Heating & Renewables Awards 2015.

Awards logo 2015 WINNER GREENThe culmination of an intense three months’ work, the award winning project featured the replacement of night storage heaters with ground source heat pumps and new wet radiator systems in 133 bungalows over 15 separate sites.

Tenants are already seeing energy bills reduced by as much as 50%, whilst Trent & Dove Housing has reported that tenant health and well-being has also improved; Kensa calculates that tenant electricity costs will be reduced by a total of over £50,000 per year, at an average of £390 per resident. The average electrical energy consumption of each property is expected to drop by 75%, producing an annual CO2 saving of 2.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2).

Chris Davis, Kensa Commercial Director said:

We are delighted that this ground breaking project has been recognised by the wider heating and renewables community as an exemplar of what can be done at scale in the social housing sector.  The project was a tremendous success, not least because in Trent & Dove Housing we had a client which was motivated and committed to making the scheme work.  Mitigating rural fuel poverty and reducing excess winter deaths remains a key priority for Trent & Dove, so it is rewarding that the combination of ground source heat pumps, the RHI (this scheme has closed) and ECO can work together in this way to make a real difference to real people’s lives.

The project saw the installation of a ground source heat pump and new heating system in each of the 133 homes, with small clusters of 2-5 homes then connected

via a series of communal boreholes,. The system approach is recognised by DECC and Ofgem as district heating and qualified the project for Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding, and 20 years of income via the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI – this scheme has closed), equating in total to £2.3m of income for Trent & Dove Housing, more than offsetting the  £1.8m investment.

The award winning scheme was delivered by British ground source heat pump manufacturer Kensa Heat Pumps alongside contractors J Tomlinson, drillers GeoDrill, and environmental consultancy Encraft, while ECO funding for the scheme was provided by EDF Energy.

In honour of the award win, Kensa Heat Pumps have released a film which documents the highly replicable scheme via a series of candid interviews with tenants and Trent & Dove Director of Property Services, Steve Grocock. One ‘star’ of the film, Mr Carter remarks:

There is no comparison to this system and the night storage heaters – this is 1000 times better. It is absolutely wonderful. The house actually feels cleaner. The temperature is terrific. You can control it. It’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I’m sure it’s knocked years off my age!

The video can be viewed on Kensa’s website here:

Previous to the award win, Kensa’s project with Trent & Dove Housing had already received industry-wide attention through its dedicated event hosted in June at Burton Albion FC stadium, which attracted over 70 leading housing association delegates. The event aimed to provide attendees with a replicable ‘blueprint’ of the scheme in order to see wider roll out of similar initiatives to tackle fuel poverty and excess winter deaths.

Trent & Dove Housing and Kensa Heat Pumps are currently undertaking a second phase of ground source heat pump upgrades in sheltered flats across two locations in Burton. Kensa is following key milestones in the works with a live blog available to view here:

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